PICC Line Concerns

Interventional radiologists often place peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines and other central lines for use by physicians for the treatment of various medical conditions. These lines can be quite troublesome for the interventional radiologist, the treating physician and facilities when patients have PICC lines placed. For various reasons – as when a patient leaves the hospital or office against medical advice – patients do not always comply with returning to have these lines removed.

Even if the patient has relocated or sought treatment from another physician, it is the obligation of the original treating physician to appropriately follow up with the patient to arrange for removal of the PICC line by a physician or facility equipped to do so.

For details about the proper way to handle correspondence with the patient in this case, as well as what role the interventional radiologist plays, please review the Legal Update on page 13 of our Spring 2015 Dateline.